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Pastor denies fraudulently transferring incarcerated brother-in-law’s property

By Heather Gvillo | Jun 2, 2015

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A pastor accused of fraudulently transferring his brother-in-law’s property while he remained in jail has denied the allegations.

According to the Oct. 28 complaint, plaintiff Ernest Spiller was arrested on drug charges and incarcerated at the St. Clair County Jail in Belleville on July 2, 1999.

Two weeks later on July 15, 1999, Spiller claims he contacted his brother-in-law, defendant Rev. Ralph McGlown, to come to the jail and discuss his real estate interests, including two properties in East St. Louis.

Spiller, according to the suit, asked McGlown to oversee the properties and preserve them for his family. He also claims during his incarceration, he asked McGlown to prepare a quitclaim deed and bring the document back to him for review.

Upon review of the materials, Spiller asked the defendant to apply a few stipulations and then signed the document, the suit states.

On May 31, Spiller claims he contacted the St. Clair County Recorder of Deeds office to inquire about the status of the properties and by July 14, discovered the properties had been fraudulently transferred to the McGlown’s family.

“The documents in which the plaintiff signed were in good faith knowing that the defendant, being a man of God, would oversee these properties and move the plaintiff’s wife and seven children back into the home,” the complaint states. “Although the defendant moved his very own daughter and her husband into the home rather than the agreement that the parties agreed and discussed.”

Spiller alleges he attempted to contact McGlown to resolve the issues without success.

“The defendant Rec. Ralph McGlown went on his own, without my knowledge and orchestrated fraudulent conveyances to transfer of the above properties,” the suit states.

Spiller claims he discovered two signatures of witnesses on the quitclaim deed that were not present on the documents when he signed them. The two signatures were made by the defendant’s employees, who weren’t present at the signing, according to the suit that notes the plaintiff’s name was misspelled.

Spiller also alleges in his complaint that McGlown borrowed $35,000 on the property and then rented the home out. He claims that to his knowledge, the original renters have moved out of one of the homes, and the defendant attempted to move Spiller’s family into the home and charge them $900 per month.

McGlown denied the allegations in his Feb. 17 answer through attorney Dedra Moore of East St. Louis.

The defendant filed a motion to dismiss, claiming Spiller failed to attach a copy of the alleged fraudulent Quit Claim Deed as required by Illinois law.

He also claims Spiller fails to allege facts on which relief may be granted.

“The complaint merely alleges conclusions and does not set forth any ultimate facts on which relief may be granted,” the motion states.

Spiller replied on March 17, arguing he did, in fact, attach a copy of the Quit Claim Deed in question.

He also claims he provided sufficient facts showing the quitclaim was fraudulently filed while the plaintiff was incarcerated at the St. Clair County Jail.

“The alleged witnesses signatures were fraudulent, due to the fact at the time of the alleged signing, they were not present to witness any of the signing by plaintiff Spiller,” the reply states. “The signatures of the alleged witness were employees of Ralph McGlown, and the plaintiff states they were not present at the jail, thus resulting in a fraudulent transfer and of filing of quitclaim on the property …”

On April 15, Circuit Judge Andrew Gleeson reassigned the case to the chancery division. The new case number is 15-CH-274.

Gleeson scheduled a status conference for August 17 at 9 a.m. after noting that there is no proper return of service in the case.

Spiller is acting pro se in this case.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 14-L-713 and 15-CH-274

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